Customer Support is a key part of any fledgling business. Hence, the decision to outsource to build an externally distributed team vs having an in-house onsite customer support team worries many business owners.
Founders and decision-makers must first have a thorough understanding of how outsourcing actually operates and how it differs from working with an internal team.
If this situation baffles you, you’ve come to the right place!
This brief blog will familiarise you with the distinctions, benefits, and drawbacks of collaborating with an office-based team and a help desk team that is externally distributed.
In-House vs Outsourced Customer Service
Pros of Outsourced Customer Service:
Accessibility – There are a number of outsourcing companies that provide customer support agents with options to scale as you grow, on-demand support agents, and multi-lingual support agents, choosing one is rather easy. Most outsourcing companies are located outside the US. Popular countries that have trusted outsourcing services include India, Malaysia, and the Philippines. The outsourcing companies in these countries are known to provide top-notch service quality at a lower price range for the simple reason of a lower cost of living.
Cost-effective – Outsourcing customer support is hands down the most cost-effective compared to building an in-house team. Businesses save huge costs and time on onboarding, training, and building the infrastructure to enable the agents. Also, outsourcing comes with the benefit of an on-demand option which means you can partner with an outsourcing partner for a project.
Faster onboarding – When compared to recruiting internal staff, your outsourcing partner can promptly provide a team of remote workers. This provides you the advantage of completing more tasks and saving a lot of time to focus on growing your business.
Flexibility & Scalability – It allows you the power to alter the workforce’s size in accordance with the demands of your project.
More bandwidth for founders & business owners – Your internal team’s bandwidth significantly enhances by outsourcing. You may concentrate more on developing business development strategies and other revenue-generating chores because you have more time to spare while your outsourced staff works nonstop in the background.
However, there are certainly a few cons to outsourcing like communication with outsourced agents could be challenging if there are cultural or time zone differences. Another challenge is data and information security. It’s thus extremely important that you choose a partner that truly has top-notch global talent and cares about data privacy and security.
Moving on, let’s take a look at what an in-house customer service team has to offer along with the challenges of building an in-house team.
Pros of In-House Customer Service Team:
In-depth brand knowledge – Your internal team members represent your brand and are well-knowledgeable about your product and services. They are aware of what makes your brand unique compared to that of your rivals. When working with your clients, they know how to provide the appropriate level of individualized attention.
Shorter feedback loop – Your in-house team can interact with your customers more easily and let you get their input right away than working with an outsourced customer support team. This helps you to improve your products and services faster.
Easy communication – It is simpler to create an environment where all of your internal team members can engage with one another because they are actually physically present in your office. The fact that you can compliment them in person makes your appreciation of their hard work feel more genuine and intimate.
Higher Security – Since there is no third party involved in this type of working model, there is a higher level of security in terms of confidentiality and sharing sensitive information about the company.
Cons of In-House Customer Service Team:
Regular effort spent on training and readiness – As opposed to an outsourced workforce who typically possesses the degree of knowledge you are seeking, internal staff needs regular training sessions. When you are attempting to diversify your marketing tactics and if your company has time-based objectives, this can be a significant roadblock.
Higher costs – Working with a team requires significant expenses for hiring, training, additional facilities, resources, and even compensation.
What should you Choose?
This will all depend on you.
There is no denying that there are advantages and disadvantages to both hiring a team of customer care representatives internally and outsourcing customer service. You’ll choose the one that best meets your business needs with adequate consideration and rigorous evaluation. Even better, perhaps you can find a method to combine them.